Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Must I live with you, Pain?

Bill Stuntz is a professor of law at Harvard facing metastatic colon cancer. He is also a conservative and evangelical Christian. His blog is wonderful, but I rarely read it -- a shame, since every time I do, I find something that influences or echoes my thoughts. Today I found at least three things I wanted to link to or comment on (including an interesting idea for Souter's replacement), but I'll stick to this poem about pain by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

And must I then, indeed, Pain, live with you
All through my life? Sharing my fire, my bed,
Sharing — oh, worst of all things! — the same head? —
And, when I feed myself, feeding you, too?
So be it, then, if what seems true, is true:
Let us to dinner, comrade, and be fed:
I cannot die till you yourself are dead,
And, with you living, I can live life through.
Yet have you done me harm, ungracious guest,
Spying upon my ardent offices
With frosty look; robbing my nights of rest;
And making harder things I did with ease.
You will die with me: but I shall, at best,
Forgive you with restraint, for deeds like these.

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